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For a cause not applause: Trekfest

For a cause not applause: Trekfest

I think I need to confess straight out of the gate that this post is a salute to others and shamefully not me engaging in a worthwhile cause. My contribution has come in the form of a donation plus this post, and hopefully it will go some way in showing my appreciation not only for those amazing people who choose to keep us safe and save lives on a daily basis but also  for those who undertake challenges to help raise awareness, support and the much-needed donations for charity based emergency services.

This post is well overdue as I intended to write it nearly a month ago, however, I had a little setback as I had a car accident. I am very pleased to say it was only a minor incident as I was the only one hurt and walked away with only a few bumps and bruises as a result of a tyre blowing out but it was bad enough that it managed to write off my car. There is a bigger picture to this incident, that left me with my own, very personal affiliation with the emergency services, particularly the Air Ambulance and it is for this reason that I wanted to do this post. Although I only have a very small blog and social following I wanted to share with as many people as I can possibly reach in person or via my online platforms to help promote the efforts of a local team who are currently in training for Trekfest in order to help raise the much need funds for the local new Heli Appeal. This fundraising appeal hopes to reach its target of £2.5 million that is needed to bring a new next-generation helicopter to the Cornwall Air Ambulance by 1st April 2020.

My story

I think it’s pretty much safe to say that we all experience at least one life-changing event throughout our lifetime. For me, my experience of this came in the form of a road traffic accident when I was 17. I thought I was invincible and bad things happen to other people. That was until the 16th of September 1996. I was getting a lift home from college when, instead of making it back I ended up being cut from the vehicle, suffering multiple injuries, needing to be airlifted to hospital. I spent hours in surgery, with multiple operations leaving me with what I was told would be life-changing injuries. I spent the next year in a wheelchair and had a long and hard recovery. Without the help of the emergency services and specifically the Air Ambulance team, I can safely say I wouldn’t be here today. It is easy to take for granted not only the work the emergency services do, but also the cost and availability of these services. From that day forward, my whole family and I began donating regularly to the Air Ambulance as basically, it needs supporters like us to keep it flying.

Going the extra mile

I began following a local guy by the name of Dave Guffick on Instagram not long after moving to Cornwall. His beautiful local snaps and feed basically capture the Cornish dream, landscapes, coastlands and watersports. Having never meet Dave or having any previous contact with him other than a few mutual Insta likes he must have thought I was a complete weirdo when I contacted him about one of his posts regarding the Cornwall Air Ambulance. I wanted to know more and how I could do my bit to support his efforts. What transpired was that Dave and a few of his colleagues at Zoopla, based in Redruth, were undertaking a challenging trek to help the Cornwall Air Ambulance reach their target and here’s what he had to say…

So you and the Zoopla team are undertaking the challenge of TrekFest, what exactly is TrekFest?

Trekfest is a 25km Trek through the Brecon Beacons. We are doing this on the 6th July along with other trekkers in aid of a number of charities but overall the air ambulance is hoping to have about 30 people from various companies and the air ambulance themselves.  We were considering trying to organise a walk of our own down here in Cornwall but when speaking to the Air ambulance they said that they had this trip and the challenge of 25k in the Brecons sounded like a real test as getting up Pen Y Fan is going to be even harder than the Cornish hills we have here.

We are looking to raise at least £180 each. As a group of 10 that will be a big chunk of money. Luckily for us, Zoopla is an amazing employer and will double any money we make up to the value of £500 each. 

Wow, what a difference that will make, a big shout out to Zoopla!!

Can you tell us a bit more about the team from Zoopla in Redruth and what you are doing to prepare for the challenge?

There are 10 of us. None of us have done this before or anything 25km long. As office workers, we tend to be sat down for long periods of the day so getting up walking is going to be good for us as well as for the air ambulance. The team consists of myself, (David Guffick), Gabs Hanson, Hannah Hough, Jo Correnti, Lisa Gray, Lorna Hatto, Luke Cole, Marcus Grasso, Mark Adair and Martin Willis.

Training at the moment is just getting out for walks/runs when we can. We are going to try to get a longer group walk in at some point to take us up to the mid teens to start to prepare us nearer the time. 

Do you often undertake charitable fundraisers? And why did you pick the Air Ambulance?

For the last two years, Zoopla has had a charity partnership with CRUK. When this came to an end a decision was made to localise the charity partnerships so that each of our offices could raise money for a charity close to home. We held a vote in the office and the air ambulance won as the office choice. We all are well aware of the amazing job the air ambulance has done over the years and are very thankful to have it here with us. Many of us have been present or know of someone who has had to be airlifted, we were also well aware of the need in such a rural county for the minutes saved. As an office, we have always held regular days for various charitable events. We need no invitation to do a cake bake or a quiz or any other fun things in the office. Now we have the Air Ambulance focus for the next year all our efforts will be going into this. We already have a regular donation station in the office so people can bring in items to go out to the local charity shops. In April we have convinced the boss to jump out of a helicopter for the air ambulance as well.  We will be looking for another big event later in the year to raise more funds but haven’t decided on what that will be. 

What else can people do to help offer our support?

Besides donations, the best thing people can do for us is to just share our story. Be that through blogs or just retweets and shares on social media. We appreciate any support we get from anywhere we can. 

I think you will all agree with me that Dave and the rest of the Redruth Zoopla team definitely deserve a shout out and as much support as we can give. If like me you’d like to donate you can do so by clicking here or via the link in Dave’s Instagram bio and like he said please spare a few minutes to share via your own blogs and social channels as it’s a local charity that we all benefit from.

I’d like to wish Dave and the rest of the team the best of luck with their training and for TrekFest 2019, thanks guys you’re awesome!!

  • Please note these images are not my own but those of the Cornwall Air Ambulance.

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